Jordan Ayew (mobbed by teammates) scored a hat-trick as the Black Stars beat Central African Republic 4-3. Photos: EMMANUEL BAAH
Jordan Ayew (mobbed by teammates) scored a hat-trick as the Black Stars beat Central African Republic 4-3. Photos: EMMANUEL BAAH

World Cup 2026 Qualifiers: Jordan Ayew's hat-trick gives Ghana 4-3 victory over Central African Republic

An impressive second half performance by the senior national football team, Black Stars, enabled Ghana to overcome the Wild Beasts of the Central African Republic with a  4-3 victory in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Monday, June 10.


A hat-trick from Jordan Ayew and a goal from Abdul Fatawu Issahaku ensured that the Black Stars fought back from a 1-2 first half deficit to win the seven-goal thriller which propelled Ghana to the top of the Group I table with nine points from four matches.

It was the Black Stars who opened the scoring in the fourth minute through a penalty by Ayew, making his 104th appearance for Ghana, after Kamaldeen Sulemana was brought down in the penalty box. The veteran striker, who scored the winning goal in Ghana's 2-1 win over Mali in last Thursday's group clash in Bamako, sent the Central African Republic goalkeeper Dominique Youfeigane in the wrong direction to open the floodgates in the drama-filled encounter watched by a capacity crowd in Kumasi.


However, the Central African Republic scored the equaliser in the 11th minute through Louis Mafouta who capitalised on a defensive blunder by centre-backs Alexander Dziku and Mohammed Salisu to beat onrushing Lawrence Ati-Zigi.

Mafouta increased the tally in the 41st minute to give the visiting team a 2-1 lead after latching onto a poor back pass by Djiku and drilled the ball past the Ghana goalkeeper, as the Wild Beasts went the half-time break with their tails up. 

Back fromrecess, Coach Otto Addo's side looked a transformed team as they started putting sustained pressure on their opponents and creating scoring opportunities which paid off with two quick goals within two minutes through Ayew (60th minute) and Issahaku (62nd) to give Ghana a 3-2 lead. 

Ayew completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute to give Ghana a 4-2 cushion, slotting the ball home during a goalmouth melee after goalkeeper Youfeigane spilled ball back into play. 

On a night of hat-tricks, the Wild Beasts did not five up the fight and found the net again through Mafouta, whose 30-yard free-kick beat goalkeeper Ati-Zigi and sailed into the net to reduce the defict to 4-3 in the 90th minute for a share of the limelight with Ayew. Afterwards, Ghana endured a nervy five minutes of added-on time to hold onto their one-goal advantage for a deserved home victory.

Standing ovation

Ayew and Kudus received a standing ovation from the appreciative supporters when they were substituted in the 76th and 89th minutes, respectively, by Elisha Owusu and debutant, Brandon Thomas-Asante.

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